Books with WTF?! endings?

Read any good books that have weird endings that seem to come out of the blue? I just did.

It’s called Something Red by Douglas Nicholas and the ending comes out of nowhere.

The plot is that a group of traveling musicians/healers in 13th England are being followed around by something that is stalking them and killing people and animals.

At the end they are holed up in a castle waiting for a blizzard to pass, until

[spoiler]One character, while staring at a tapestry depicting a hunting scene, blurts out that he thinks a sickly little old lady that they’d met was the killer since she knew details only the killer would know, primarily how a dog was killed. The leader, a middle aged woman, goes to another room to discuss something with an ex-knight that serves as their protector/body guard and leaves her granddaughter alone with the teenage boy who’d connected the dots. She then tells him that the ex-knight is a “beast”. He’d been attacked and nearly killed during a battle in the Holy Land and was infected by whatever the thing was. He’d transform and wake up not remembering what had happened, etc. The older woman comes back, the Beast Man strips naked, the women brew a drink/potion and all save the man drink some. She then has the teenage boy carry the potion while they follow the sounds of chaos and destruction coming from the great hall.

There they find a Fox the size of horse weighing several hundred pounds. Not a were fox, but a normal looking Fox, just huge and evil. The fox kills some people and leads them on a chase around the castle. The Beast Man takes off a bag he wears around his neck and transforms into a gorilla like thing that proceeds to attack and kill the fox, then kill and eat a sorcerer/doctor that had been helping the “old woman” who is now a dead younger woman. The leader of the group gives Beast Man some of the potion and transforms back into a human.[/spoiler]

Its a good book, if a bit verbose and slow at times, but the above spoiler came out of nowhere. Yes the lady and her retinue were a little weird and they’d hinted at something happening with the knight while on crusade, but DANG it was weird.

I’d say the pre-teen gang bang toward the end of Stephen King’s It qualifies. They are deep in the creature’s lair and out of nowhere the girl, all of twelve years old, just decides to screw all the boys there. It is painted as this lovely coming of age deep emotional bonding moment that propels them toward the novel’s climax.

An idiotic, incomprehensible scene in an otherwise exceptional novel.

The Bible

Not sure if they’re WTF endings, but these books have a climax or twist on about the very last page:

The Devil’s Alternative by Frederick Forsythe

The Monster Men by Edgar Rice Burroughs

the Poisoned Chocolates Case by Anthony Berkeley

I learned about the last one from the reference to it in Anthony Shaffer’s play Sleuth. I didn’t realize that it was a real mystery until I saw a copy of it (I thought he might have been making it up). It really is, as he put it “a tour-de-force with six separate solutions”. Actually, it might be seven, depending upon how you count them. An excellent overview of the nature and reliability of evidence and how you approach solving a mystery, as the six members of a crime club each take a stab (so to speak) at solving the mystery. The final answer is on the last page.

Under the Dome - that ending pissed me off in a few ways - the way the “big bad” dies, and then the reveal on The Dome.

The Stand - another Stephen King book. I really enjoy the book, but the ending is extremely WTF. I periodically re-read it and just stop before the last bit.

“Cocaine is a hell of a drug” - Rick James

The Hannibal novel ends very differently than the movie. Clarice falls in love with Hannibal and they run off together.

I actually thought it made more sense than the movie ending,

This thread could just as well be called ‘‘Stephen King books with WTF endings.’’ We’d have plenty of material.

That sounds pretty cool, actually.

I know it’s a movie not a book, but the “It was a just a dream” ending to ‘Vanilla Sky’ really pissed me off.

We’re dealing with fiction here. You can tell any story you want. So explaining at the end that half the story didn’t really happen is fucking ridiculous. None of it happened. They’re all imaginary stories. So tell the story you want to tell, for Fuck’s sake.

Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow (or Sense of Snow, depending on your translation)

Starts off as a detective story, turns into a sci-fi novel about 2/3 of the way through. I suppose the X-files might be supposed to prepare us for this kind of thing, but I found it deeply weird to be in the middle of investigating a straightforward murder, only to butt up against an alien spacecraft all of a sudden. It’s like Peter Hoeg woke up one morning in the middle of writing it thinking - you know what? I’m bored with this story, lets just start another one … from wherever I happen to find myself.

I once started a thread on this very subject. I was inspired by the weird ending of Evelyn Waugh’s “A Handful of Dust.”

Going after Cacciato.

I get the same impression from Atlas Shrugged. For the first two-thirds of the book, it’s a cool story about a socialist America; in the last third, it aspires to be a work of science fiction with lots of 1950s-type imagined technology.

Rand must have been smoking something other than unfiltered Chesterfields when she wrote it.

One of Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone/letter of the alphabet novels does a story-changing reveal in the very last paragraph, with absolutely no follow-through. I think it’s P but the ones I’ve read kind of blur together.

Steve Brust wrote a novel around 1990 in which the mysterious controlling figure of the title… turns out to be not just one of the identified character, but the first-person narrator. He caught a lot of shit from his fans for that one.

I agree with that one. I was enjoying the book quite a bit until it took that sudden left turn into a completely different genre.

It was from an earlier less cynical and paranoid time. It was sex bit it wasnt sexualized. They were bonding. Considering all the human on human brutality in It, that incident is way doen my list of horrifying.

Relatively hack-y SF author David Weber wrote a book, Out of the Dark, that starts with a straight military SF invasion of earth by aliens. They have more advanced technology, but we humans (by which he mainly means the US of A) have guts and patriotism and stuff. So we fight hard against them, but we’re getting overwhelmed. It’s all straight SF. No fantasy. No woo.

And then we are saved by…


It’s actually kind of glorious in its own ridiculously goofy way.

WHAT??? That’s the best part.

In that vein, I thought “On the Beach” was going to be an Annette Funicello flick, and “Miracle Mile”??? I thought it was a rom-com. Went in with no clue.

As for Hannibal…yup. Evil wins.